Active within the scene since the 80’s, Steve Robson not only runs a successful shop called Visual Impact, and he’s also the main organiser of one of the many events that take place during the August Bank Holiday Weekender on the IOW. We asked Steve to tell our readers something about the IOW weekend, and his thoughts about the current scene today.
Once again at Three Stroke Productions, we’ve been a proud sponsor of another quality event!
If you were there, you’ll know what we’re talking about… If you weren’t… well, make sure you can make it next year!
Hi Steve, can tell us something about the IOW Bank Holiday?
In the early 80’s I was running a scooter shop on the island when the first National Rally came to my home town off Ryde, we had a garage load of bits which we took down to the Rally camp site and spent the weekend repairing Lambretta’s !! Was great fun and meet some great people as well as making a few quid.
I can’t really remember going to any evening do’s that year, think we just stayed on the camp site with a few beers!
Over the years the IOW rally as had many highs & lows but has kept going and come back strong with the VFM collective & the BSRA doing a great job organising the campsite, Custom show, parts fair & entertainment at the ice rink.
The Rally’s getting more diverse every year with evening do’s going on across the whole island as well as in Ryde, with so much choice there really is something going to suit all tastes.
My organised nights were originally at Ryde Theatre but after the council closed it down for the last four years we have been at The Balcony Bars on Ryde Seafront which has been a great venue for us.
I have always gone down the more Mod route both sixties & Mod revival, with original bands like The Chords, The Purple Hearts, the 60’s band The Birds, Simon Townshend, The Moment, Pope, Squire as well some fantastic tributes/ covers band like the Small Fakers, Who’s who, The Tiddly Kinks & The Hi- Watts. I also like to include every year one current originals bands, which is not easy to get right when a lot off your audience may have never heard anything from the band before.
But when it works and you can see that’s its gone down well , I get real buzz from that, this year The Theme from east London did that, great band with loads of potential.
As well as bands we have an army of Dj’s lead by a great local soul man Tim Boogaloo, this year the The Ham Yard Dj’s were “Top” on the Saturday, some really quality tunes, I could listen to those guys every night of the week!
We also put Dj’s & bands on during the day time in front of the Pavilion Bars and this year we had over 2000 people each day enjoying the great atmosphere of the IOW Rally.
How is managing such a successful and, I’m sure, also time demanding event?
It’s great fun and can’t wait for the weekend to come around, although it never passes without a few stresses! Every year, at least two bands will miss there ferry booking coming over! Someone will go sick or break there leg a day before! And without fail we won’t have enough beds for bands at the hotels as someone always rocks up with two more guys then they said they would! Somehow we always managed to get it sorted!
We believe that a scene is healthy if it’s still capable to attract youngsters. In other words has the mod factor still the right appeal nowadays?
I totally agree we need the youngsters and from what I am seeing the scene is attracting them, there are lots of great young bands and young Dj’s springing up at the moment and they are dressing really well, and some buying Scooters.
One off the highlights of the IOW Rally this year was three young lads of 15 Years in band called The Orders, they played Saturday afternoon and I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever seen such a good reaction to any band. They played mostly covers from, The Kinks, The Who & The Jam with a few Orders’ originals, but played with a passion and energy only a teenager could do. I was a big fan off The Jam and when the Orders played early Jam songs Modern World & Art School you really could have been watching Paul, Bruce & Rick at Woking Working Man’s Club!!
I am now helping out the guys and we have a night coming up soon that The Orders will play, Dj’s are 13 & 15, & the sound tech 15 years old, its free entry for under 18’s. I am really hoping we get a cool young crowd: I would love to see a second Mod revival!
Which current bands and clubs would you recommend?
Well I have got to mention The Orders and The Theme again and off course The Strypes that are simply brilliant, in fact there’s loads off great bands at the moment The 45s, The Sonik Seeds are really good & long time favas of mine The Universal & Dc Fontana .
As for clubs, anywhere The Ham Yards or the Ricky Tick boys Paul & Mark are playing always Top Nights!
Plans for the next year’s edition?
The plan is always to be better than the last year and we have number of things to tweak to improve the venue and there’s Still a few bands I would love to see play on the IOW that have never played here, although I best not say who in case another promoter beats me too them!
The one thing I am sure about is the Isle of Wight Rally is going to continue to be one of the best of the year.
Thank Steve. Keep up the great work!